Myer Leoni

English cantor
d. 1796

Myer Leoni began his musical career as an opera singer in England. In 1767 he took a position as cantor of the Great Synagogue in London, but continued performing in Operas, providing they didn’t conflict with his Synagogue duties.

Leoni, along with collegue Giordani, established an English Opera company in Dublin in 1783, which due to financial difficulties only ran for a short time.

In 1787, Leoni left the Great Synagogue and moved to Jamaica where he was hired as the ba’al koreh by the Ashkenazi Syangogue in Kingston, a position he held until his death in 1796.

Several of Leoni’s liturgical compositions are included in Aaron Beer’s collection of cantorial music, the best known being Leoni's arrangement of Yigdal, later adapted to form the Christian hymn, “The God of Abraham Praise” by Methodist minister Thomas Olivers. 

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